Salisbury Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting

Posted: Updated:
The Feb. 3 shooting occurred on North Salisbury Boulevard at Philadelphia Avenue in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC) The Feb. 3 shooting occurred on North Salisbury Boulevard at Philadelphia Avenue in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.- A Salisbury police officer will not face charges in connection with the fatal shooting of a Delaware fugitive during a February traffic stop, according to a report released by the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office on Tuesday.

Wicomico State's Attorney Matthew Maciarello said the report concludes there is no probable cause to charge Officer 1st Class Milton Rodriguez with a crime, and that Rodriguez' deadly use of force in the killing of 25-year-old James L. Norris, of Wilmington, Del., was justified to stop the clear and present threat that Norris presented.

The incident happened on Monday, Feb. 3, when Wilmington police contacted Maryland authorities for help finding Norris, who was wanted on handgun charges. According to the report, members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team stopped a car Norris was a passenger in on North Salisbury Boulevard at Philadelphia Avenue in Salisbury.

The report shows that Rodriguez, an 18-year-veteran of the Salisbury Police Department and a member of MSAT, approached the passenger side of the car and identified himself as a police officer.

According to the report, Rodriguez asked Norris for his name, at which time Norris put both hands in his jacket pockets. The report said the officer ordered Norris not to put his hands in his pockets but Norris - who it turns out had his hands clenched around two .38-caliber revolvers in both jacket pockets - refused and told Rodriguez and another officer, "You better kill/shoot me first or I'm gonna kill/shoot you." 

The report said that is when Rodriguez, who was in fear for his safety, pulled his weapon. More than one shot was fired at the scene and the evidence shows both men fired their weapons, according to the report.

While the report said that it will never be "conclusively established" who fired the fatal shot, the report "assumes" Rodriguez fired the shot that killed Norris.

"The taking of any life is tragic. It is, however - under circumstances - justified; and this is such a case," the report said. "Pfc. Rodriguez's use of deadly force was justified to stop the clear and present threat that James Norris presented."
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Dover Business Owners Sound Off During Downtown Tour

    Dover Business Owners Sound Off During Downtown Tour

    09/25/2017 19:37:00 -04:002017-09-25 23:37:00 GMT
    Tuesday, September 26 2017 12:59 AM EDT2017-09-26 04:59:55 GMT
    Erin Thwaite, owner of Bel's Boutique in Downtown Dover, talks with City Councilman David Anderson about running a store in Downtown Dover.Erin Thwaite, owner of Bel's Boutique in Downtown Dover, talks with City Councilman David Anderson about running a store in Downtown Dover.
    DOVER, Del. --- Dover business owners on Monday gave their thoughts on conditions in the downtown area during a tour by city officials and members of the Downtown Dover Partnership.The Monday morning tour was aimed at getting feedback from local businessMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Dover business owners on Monday gave their thoughts on conditions in the downtown area during a tour by city officials and members of the Downtown Dover Partnership.The Monday morning tour was aimed at getting feedback from local businessMore
  • Dover Man Arrested for Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

    Dover Man Arrested for Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

    09/25/2017 18:48:00 -04:002017-09-25 22:48:00 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 7:01 PM EDT2017-09-25 23:01:30 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Milford Police arrested a Dover man after finding drugs in his car during a traffic stop.More
    Milford Police arrested a Dover man after finding drugs in his car during a traffic stop.More
  • Local Sports Fans React to NFL Protests

    Local Sports Fans React to NFL Protests

    09/25/2017 18:40:00 -04:002017-09-25 22:40:00 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 6:41 PM EDT2017-09-25 22:41:57 GMT
    NFL players across the country linked arms and kneeled down on one knee - all to take a stand against President Donald Trump and a statement he made last Friday.More
    NFL players across the country linked arms and kneeled down on one knee - all to take a stand against President Donald Trump and a statement he made last Friday.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices